We all want different things in a relationship at different points in life. Some of us want long-term emotional commitment whereas others want to simply have fun. It’s important to know, therefore, that the person you’re with wants the same things as you do. In this article, we tell you how to tell if your partner is commitment-phobic.

Commitment phobia is something we usually associate with men, but all human beings irrespective of gender can be afflicted by this fear. Generally speaking, it is a fear of getting close to people and having the courage to share an emotional journey with them. The main fear driving commitment phobia is fear of loss. People who experience this fear reason that if they never get close to anyone, they can never be left alone.

Being in a relationship with a commitment phobic person can be trying. Here are five signs that you must be aware of in order to identify commit phobia in the person you’re with.

1. A tendency to live in the moment
Spontaneity and romance are great things, but if your partner is showing signs of living in the moment and making short-term plans all the time, if there is absolutely no sign of any long-term planning which includes the both of you, then you may be right in concluding that his long-term future does not include you. On the other hand, if he is occasionally mentioning marriage or kids or buying a house or growing old together, it shows that he is thinking of a future for the both of you.

2. A history of numerous short relationships
If your significant other’s relationship history is littered with a number of short relationships, you may not be wrong in wondering whether she is a serial dater. While there is value to not settling and keep looking for the right person, most people who date a lot do so for a reason: because they cannot bring themselves to bare their souls to one person. So whenever things begin to get serious in one relationship, they move to the next.

3. A tendency to be unreliable
In its basic form, commitment to one person is a belief in the sanctity of one’s word and promise. If your boyfriend is by nature someone who takes his word seriously and stands by it, you can rest easy and hope that he will be similarly upright when it comes to commitment in romance as well. But if your partner is generally unreliable (read flaky) and there is a chasm between his words and deeds, you may want to raise the issue him and see what he wants.

4. A fear of labels
A commitment-phobic person is generally fearful of labels that define a relationship: boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, mother, father etc. If you find that the woman you’re dating is being intentionally cavalier about your relationship, and if she’s feeding you sentences such as ‘Why must we be defined by labels?’ or ‘Why can’t we just be friends?’ then you may just have on your hands someone who will break your heart sooner or later.

Kanishtha Thapa

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